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Preparing for a Carnival

After a year of planning, this afternoon Pioneer Elementary School parents will begin setting up for the school's annual carnival.

"This is our main fundraiser of the year," Sherri Sims, Pioneer principal said.

The carnival is a yearly event sponsored by the Pioneer Parents/Teacher Organization. The money from past carnivals and this year's event will go toward new playground equipment.

"For the amount of children we have, there is not enough equipment," Sims said.

Sims said the new equipment the school is looking to purchase would benefit all the students -- especially older youth who may be too big for the playground currently in place at Pioneer.

Sims said there was talk of canceling the carnival, but in the end sentiment won out.

"It's a major tradition in this little community," Sims said.

Instead of canceling the carnival, Sims said the PPTO decided to shift the significance of the event.

For example, Sims said booths which were not well received in the past were eliminated and emphasis was placed on more popular activities, such as the fish pond, goodie walk and petting zoo.

Sims said last year the animals were too big for the children to touch, but this year the zoo will feature piglets, rabbits, goats, a miniature horse and two bantam chickens Barbara Ogawa's second-grade class has been raising as a school project.

"We're about ready to enroll them," Sims said about the chickens the students have raised since they were chicks.

In addition to activities for children, Pioneer's carnival features an auction with donated items including Seahawks tickets, ski passes, 18 holes of golf and a number of gift certificates from local restaurants and services.

Karaoke, a beauty bar and a jail are new booths for this year's carnival. The jail will allow patrons to put their favorite -- or not so favorite -- teacher in the big house.

"I think the big money maker will be the jail," Sims said. "I know where I'll probably spend all night."

The Pioneer Elementary School Carnival is from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the school, 4744 Pioneer Rd., off Oregon Highway 201, Ontario.

The live auction will begin at 6 p.m. There is no admission cost, with tickets for the booths on sale at the door. Hamburgers, chips, cookies, cotton candy and beverages will be on sale.

Copyright 2002 Argus Observer